Marin County District Attorney Edward Berberian says
that if this happens, he will respect state law and only take up
a case against a dispensary if it targets or endangers juveniles,
abuses public resources or becomes associated with firearms.
Board aide Clark suggests that in order to ensure ease of
access, ideal locations for new dispensaries on unincorporated
lands in Marin would be along the Highway 101 corridor and
Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in West Marin’s San Geronimo
Valley. But it’s too early to tell how many would be permitted
or what the final rules might look like, she says.
Alex, who didn’t want his last name used, has been CEO
of San Rafael–based Delta Delivery, another of the county’s
nonprofit delivery services, for almost three years. With 17
full-time employees, Delta by Alex’s estimate serves about
5 percent of Marin County’s medical marijuana patients.
He too laments the county’s current lack of dispensaries.
Without a storefront, it can be difficult to serve newer
patients or those seeking treatment advice, he says.
“A lot of people who have never used cannabis in
their entire lives, and they’re in their 50s or 60s and
they get cancer, their doctor prescribes canna-
bis and they don’t know what to do from there,”
he says. “If someone calls who’s just been diag-
nosed with cancer, which happens quite a lot, I’ll
meet with such people in person and try to find
what’s going to be best for them.”
Like Bjork at Marin Gardens, he’s hopeful the Board
of Supervisors’ pending plan will yield positive results
for patients. “Sooner rather than later we’ll start seeing
dispensaries in Marin County, and we’ll open a store-
front as soon as we can get a permit,” he says. “I’ve got
to applaud the supervisors for getting around to agreeing
that we need access for Marin County.”
Partly in anticipation of improved (or, essentially, renewed)
access to medical marijuana in the county, attorney Candell
launched a website earlier this year designed to educate newbies,
and perhaps skeptics, on visiting or opening dispensaries, buy-
ing or growing specific strains of cannabis, and treating ailments
from anorexia to arthritis. In 12 online classes — streaming vid-
eos that range in length from 20 to 90 minutes and are available
for free at cannabismatters.com — a host of medical marijuana
experts, all doctors, expound on various therapeutic uses for
cannabis as well as the underlying science. Cannabis is currently
prescribed to treat more than 50 different ailments, including
AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, migraines, epilepsy,
bipolar disorder and multiple sclerosis.
“As this is becoming mainstream, there are people
who haven’t been involved in this industry or didn’t really
understand it who are now getting interested,” Candell says.
“What we found was lacking was an educational resource
for people who are interested in learning about it from a
patient’s perspective, for people who are interested in grow-
ing their own medicine and for people who are interested in
doing their own dispensary.”
Candell himself teaches a few of the online classes,
including “Medical Marijuana for New Patients,” intended
for people who have a health condition that may be helped
by marijuana but who have never used the drug, don’t know
where to find it or how to use it, and may be worried about
getting into trouble. Featuring nothing more than a straight-
talking Candell before a black backdrop, the 25-minute video
is basic and pragmatic in approach.
Others are a bit more advanced, like Sher Ali Butt’s
40-minute “Lab Testing and Analysis for Cannabis,” full
of complex chemistry and scientific language. A biochemist by training, Butt spent two years at Oakland’s cannabis
research facility Steep Hill Lab, processing 500 to 600
marijuana samples a day. Suffice to say it wasn’t your
stereotypical stoner he had in mind when discussing cannabinoids and chromatography.
A lot of people who have never
used cannabis in their entire lives,
and they’re in their 50s or 60s and
they get cancer, their doctor
prescribes cannabis and they don’t
know what to do from there.